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Ludlow family to meet Garda Commissioner today to discuss 1976 murder

Ludlow family to meet Garda Commissioner today to discuss 1976 murder

Local TD Gerry Adams has called on the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to assist the family of Seamus Ludlow when he meets them today.

The family of the then 47-year-old forestry worker, who was shot dead in Dundalk in May 1976 will meet with the Garda Commissioner today in their ongoing battle for justice.

The family of Mr Ludlow, from Thistle Cross in Mountpleasant, have long maintained he was an innocent victim of a loyalist death squad comprising a Red Hand Commando and two members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) who travelled from the north into the Republic of Ireland to commit the murder.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) told Gardaí in 1979 the names of four loyalists it suspected of being involved in Ludlow’s killing but the information was not pursued at the time.

In 1998, four named suspects were arrested and questioned by the RUC. They were released without charge.

To date, no one has been charged in relation to his death.

Seamus Ludlow

Today, the family of Ludlow will ask the Commissioner that he agrees to put in place a wholly fresh investigation team into the murder of Ludlow.

The family will also ask that Harris agrees immediately to disclose all material relating to the Ludlow murder and investigation by An Garda Síochána. They say all such material should be provided to a fresh investigation team.

It will also be asked that Harris agrees to immediately correspond with the PSNI in order to seek disclosure of all material relating to the murder of Seamus Ludlow, including both RUC and military materials. Again, they say all such material such be provided to a fresh investigation team.

An Oireachtas committee in Dublin recommended more than 10 years ago that two commissions of investigation be held into the murder and subsequent events.

Neither of the recommendations have been implemented by the government.

Now Sinn Féin TD Adams has called on the Garda Commissioner to do all he can to help the family.

He said: “The family of Seamus Ludlow, who was murdered near his home in Dundalk in 1976, have been campaigning to get the truth of the circumstances of his death for 43 years.

“In 2006 the Barron Commission recognised the serious failure by this state to investigate the killing appropriately and it recommended that the government establish two commissions of investigation. Barron also noted the shameful way in which the family had been treated by An Garda Síochána.

“Successive governments have failed to establish these investigations and have blocked the Ludlow family at every instance.

“The Garda Commissioner has an opportunity on Monday to answer some of the questions the family have regarding the conduct of some Gardaí at the time of Seamus’ killing.

“He should also provide a rationale for the continued failure of the Gardaí to question four men identified as suspects in 1979.

“Commissioner Harris should initiate a fresh inquiry, under a new investigative team, to finally provide this family with the truth into Seamus’ killing,” said Deputy Adams.

Dundalk councillor Ruaírí Ó Murchú added: “I commend the family of Seamus Ludlow for their perseverance and tenacity over two generations.

“It is very unfair that there has not been more support from the government and state agencies to date and I hope that this family reaches the truth behind this brutal killing.”